Workers' Liberty 3/14 Trotsky: The Spartacus of the 20th century

The break with the Communist International

Jean van Heijenoort was for seven years (1932-9) Trotsky’s secretary. Here he outlines the story of Trotsky’s break with the Communist International and turn towards building a new international. His account of Trotsky’s reasoning on the class nature of the USSR is an important element in the history of post-Lenin revolutionary Marxism.

Trotsky's habits of work

By Charles Cornell*

One must understand Trotsky’s passionate devotion to the cause of the oppressed to appreciate the full import of his work. He hated the injustices and indignities forced on man with his whole being. His polemics against political opponents are not at all the brilliant stylistic exercises which his petty-bourgeois critics make them out to be. Nor did he dash them off with the literary glibness which they attribute to him. Trotsky’s powerful and incisive writing merely reflects his ardent convictions in the struggle for the liberation of mankind. The barbs of his sharp pen were completely at one with his hatred of all that degraded humanity. The style was truly the man. He did not write with facility at all; his polished writing was the result of strenuous and lengthy application.

Leon Trotsky October 1879-August 1940: introduction to the documents


The legacy of the Bolsheviks

The fact that the Bolsheviks staked their whole policy on the world revolution of the proletariat is precisely the most striking testimony to the range of their far-sightedness, to their fidelity to principles, and to the daring impetus of their policy…